Friendster users suffer weekend of woes

Friendster has been anything but user-friendly since Thursday as the popular social networking site has experienced a total of 23 hours worth of outages over a series of incidents that have also caused alarm among 85 million users who have seen their friends lists disappear.

While there was another outage this morning, Friendster appears to have the matter under control and has assured users their friends lists will be restored. The company blames power problems at its outsourced data center.

From the Friendster blog hours ago:

As you may have seen, has undergone maintenance at various times over the past few days. Friendster's unscheduled downtime was due to a power outage at our outsourced data center in Santa Clara, California where Friendster's servers are co-located along side approximately 50 other companies. As a result, Friendster, as well as a number of other online companies, experienced unscheduled and unavoidable downtime. At this time, Friendster is back online and our team is working quickly to restore everything back to normal.

Additionally, you may have experienced some inconsistencies with your friend count on Friendster. All of your friend connections and data stored on Friendster are in tact and will be corrected shortly. It's simply taking some time for us to restore each user account as Friendster has over 85 million user accounts globally.

There's a Q&A with the post that offers more details.

The Web performance monitoring company Pingdom has details of the rocky weekend.

Downtime Thursday (November 13):

5:23 p.m. - 01:28 a.m. (8h 5m)

Downtime Friday (November 14):

02:33 a.m. - 02:58 a.m. (5m)

08:33 a.m. - 08:53 a.m. (20m)

09:08 a.m. - 10:28 a.m. (1h 20m)

10:53 a.m. -... (6h and counting...)

The total Friendster website downtime ended up being just under 11 hours on Friday. On Saturday the website was unavailable for another five hours.

After a Sunday without downtime, the website was down again for another 35 minutes early on Monday morning (starting at 01:33 a.m. Central European Time).

Bad things happen to even the best data centers, of course, but the fact Friendster is relying on an outsourcer here in no way mitigates the company's responsibility.

Not exactly the way to win friends and influence people.

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